English Premier League side Watford has appointed Populous architects to draw up plans for a 32,000-seat expansion of its Vicarage Road stadium.
The Athletic reports that the club is planning to submit a planning permission application to Watford Council for a two-phase redevelopment of the venue worth an estimated £40m.
In the first phase of the project, the club is reportedly looking to add a further tier to the Sir Elton John stand for between £6m ($7.79m/€7m) and £10m ($13m/€11.65m). In a second, more costly phase, worth an estimated £30m ($38.96m/€34.94m) it would look to add a further 5,000 seats to the Graham Taylor stand, although this stage is not anticipated to start for another three to five years.
Populous is reported to be helping the club plan the budget for the redevelopment and has been tasked with ensuring the work can be carried out with the minimum impact on matchday revenues.
The architectural firm led the recent redevelopment of Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane stadium into a new 62,062-seat, multi-use arena capable of hosting National Football League matches. The club has won plaudits for the design of the new venue, which cost an estimated £1bn ($1.3bn/€1.16bn).
Fellow Premier League clubs Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace are also planning stadium expansions in the near future, while Everton recently revealed designs for a brand-new, 52,000-capacity stadium in Liverpool’s Bramley-Moore Dock at a cost of £500m ($649.73m/€582.39m).